I firmly believe if you have a handful of flavoursome condiments at your disposal you can lift a meal to new heights with little effort. Some of my favourites include green sauces such as pesto or salsa verde, seasonal sauerkraut and a range of dressings and sauces. As avocado season returns I am using this wonder fruit in many ways beyond spreading on sourdough – although there is nothing wrong with avocado toast, which is admittedly one of my favourite snacks.
I love taking advantage of avocados smooth texture to prepare a creamy egg-free green mayonnaise. Ripeness is key when using avocado in this way as it is the important factor for a silky smooth sauce. Under ripe and it won’t blend well, too ripe and it can give the sauce an undesirable taste and texture.
These root vegetable rosti are a simple vegetable dish to accompany a main meal, or serve for weekend brunch topped with a poached egg and drizzled with avocado sauce. They can be cooked ahead of time and reheated in a lightly oiled frying pan. The fennel salt adds a delightful zing to accompany the sweet root vegetables, and the avocado ‘mayo’ brings a fresh flavour.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes
Servings: 12 rosti
- About 4 cups grated root vegetables i.e. kumara, parsnip, carrot, swede
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon ground fennel seeds
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup chickpea flour
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon salt
Avocado Green Mayo
- 1 ripe avocado
- Juice of 1 lemon, about ¼ cup
- Small bunch of coriander or mint, roughly chopped
- 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
- 3-4 tablespoons water
- Salt and pepper to season
Preheat oven to 190°C.
Rosti - combine the grated vegetables, spices and salt in a bowl. Add the flour and water and mix well until the mixture holds together lightly when squeezed. Use hands to shape into 12 patties – they will be quite delicate but will hold together once cooked. Arrange on a baking tray and drizzle each rosti with oil.* Place the tray in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and use the flat side of a spatula to flatten each rosti, then flip and cook for a further 10-15 minutes until golden.
Fennel salt – in a mortar and pestle grind the fennel seeds and salt together until coarsely ground. Tip into a small pinch bowl.
Avocado Mayo – scoop the flesh of the avocado into a food processor or blender. Add the lemon juice, herbs, garlic and 3 tablespoons of the water. Blitz into a smooth sauce about the consistency of hollandaise. Add the extra tablespoon of water to loosen if needed. Season to taste and pour into a bowl for serving. This sauce is best eaten fresh but will keep for up to a day in the fridge.
Serve warm to accompany a main meal or top with a poached egg and serve with fennel salt and avocado sauce on the side.
*Fried Rosti – the rosti can also be fried rather than baked. Heat 5mm vegetable oil in a heavy-based frying pan over a moderate heat. Cook the rosti in batches for 4-5 minutes on each side until golden.
Nicola Galloway is a cookbook author, culinary tutor and homegrown enthusiast. She teaches cooking workshops on sourdough bread making and fermentation around New Zealand. Find more info and recipes on her website www.homegrown-kitchen.co.nz